Charle Cournoyer wins silver, Drolet & Bastille earn bronze

Charle Cournoyer wins silver, Drolet and Bastille earn bronze at World Cup in Germany
Three speed skating clubs to receive $1,000 from World Cup Podium Tracker program

DRESDEN, Germany
- Canadian Charle Cournoyer earned his second career World Cup medal today by placing second in the 1,000-metre final at the Samsung ISU World Cup #6 in Dresden, Germany. Teammates Marie-Ève Drolet and Guillaume Bastille each claimed bronze medals in their respective 1,500-metre finals.

Today’s races, at Energie Verbund Arena, featured the 1,000 metres, the first of two 1,500-metre competitions and the men’s and women’s relay semifinals. On Sunday, skaters will compete in the 500-metre and second 1,500-metre races, as well as the relay finals.

In the five-man 1,000-metre final, Charle Cournoyer, of Boucherville, Que., positioned himself in fourth place for most of the race. As teammate Olivier Jean, of Lachenaie, Que., battled for one of the top spots, Cournoyer slipped ahead of Jean in the last lap to finish in second place in a time of one minute and 25.732 seconds. China’s Wenhao Liang won gold in 1:25.677 and Victor An of Russia was third in 1:25.824. Jean was penalized and finished fifth overall. Michael Gilday, of Yellowknife, didn’t qualify for the finals after finishing third in his semifinal heat, but took sixth place overall.

In the men’s first 1,500 metres, Guillaume Bastille, of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., collected his second bronze medal of the season finishing in a time of 2:14.179, behind gold medallist Da Woon Sin of Korea (2:13.149) and American J.R. Celski (2:13.195). After reaching the semifinals, François Hamelin, of Sainte-Julie, Que., and Vincent Cournoyer, of Boucherville, Que., finished 16th and 19th overall, respectively.

A week after her 31st birthday, Marie-Eve Drolet, of Laterrière, Que., won her second medal this season, and first bronze, with a third place finish in the 1,500-metre final. Elise Christie of Great Britain won gold in 2:21.851, followed by Min-Jung Kim of Korea (2:21.952) and Drolet (2:22.069). In the busy eight-woman final, Gabrielle Waddell, of Red Deer, Alta., took eighth place (2:24.649).

Jessica Hewitt, of Kamloops, B.C., was Canada’s top woman in the 1,000 metres. She reached the B final, but fell early in the race to finish in fourth place. Hewitt was eight overall. Valérie Maltais, of La Baie, Que., was penalized for interference in the quarterfinals and was eliminated. She took 17th place overall.

After suffering a fall in the first minute of the women’s relay semifinals today, Canada battled back to second place and a spot in Sunday’s final against China, Korea and the Netherlands. The Chinese team took first place ahead of Canada with a time of 4:13.148. The Canadians came in a 4:13.905. Italy and Poland finished third and fourth, respectively.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance stands at $38,000 (10 gold, 16 silver; 12 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. The Club de patinage de vitesse de Longueuil, the Kitchener-Waterloo Sertoma Speed Skating Club and the Club de patinage de vitesse de Victoriaville will each receive $1,000 from the program for today’s medal wins.